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Breast Reduction

Breast Reduction

 

Excessively large breasts are frequently responsible for back pain, neck pain, shoulder grooving, and skin breakdown (intertrigo).  Large breasts may also lead to difficulty with exercise and normal daily activities.  Breast reduction surgery seeks to minimize these symptoms by reducing breast volume and excess skin producing a youthful lifted breast that is more proportionate with a woman’s frame.

 

Breast Reduction Candidates

 

The indications for breast reduction include back pain, neck pain, shoulder grooving, and a recurrent skin rash which may occur beneath large pendulous breasts.  When these symptoms do occur, insurance plans will often reimburse for the procedure.

 

 

Liposuction Approach

 

A very modest breast reduction may be achieved with liposuction alone.  This procedure will only correct minimal volume excess, but fails to lift the breast.  A small reduction may also be achieved via a circumareolar approach.  This involves an incision around the circumference of the areola which facilitates the removal of excess skin and breast tissue.  

 

Virtical Incision Approach

 

A vertical reduction involves a vertical incision on the front of the breast and an incision around the areola.  This approach yields a smaller lifted breast by removing breast tissue and skin from the lower pole of the breast.  A wise pattern breast reduction involves an incision around the areola, one in front of the breast, and one beneath the breast.  This pattern resembles and anchor type incision that has traditionally been associated with breast reduction.  The wise pattern reduction is reserved for very large breasts requiring resections of more than 1000 grams of breast tissue or more.  

 

Which Approach Is Correct?

 

The correct procedure is tailored to each individual patient.  Initial breast volume and measurements are important determinants of the ideal surgical technique.  The goal of surgery is to produce a youthful proportionate lifted breast with the least evidence of surgery.  There are no “scarless” surgical procedures.  However, scars can be minimized by meticulous surgical techniques and postoperative care.

 

How Much Breast Tissue is Removed?

 

The amount of tissue removed is tailored for each patient.  In cases covered by insurance companies, a specific amount of tissue resection is often dictated by the insurance policy based on a patient’s height and weight.  In patients who are appropriate candidates for this surgery, the amount excised is not excessive.  

 

Will Breasts Become Large Again Following Reduction?

 

It is unusual for breast enlargement to recur following reduction.  In patients with a specific type of breast enlargement known as virginal hypertrophy recurrence is more common.

 

Recovery

 

The length of the recovery depends on the specific surgical approach.   However patients usually return to work in 5-7 days. Modest swelling and discomfort will persist for days to weeks.  Patients may return to upper body exercise within 2-3 weeks.  Incisions may be red, raised, and visible initially, but will fade will time.